Corporate lobbyists in DC are doing everything they can to burn down the $3.5 billion Good Package, because of the corporate tax hikes and regulatory improvements. They don't want a piece of the pie, they want to bury the whole deal.
“We’re doing it in every way you can imagine,” said Aric Newhouse, the senior vice president for policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, when asked about the group’s lobbying. He added that the tax increases Democrats have pursued would mean “manufacturing families will suffer, jobs will be lost.”
Disney, Pfizer and Exxon declined to comment. Jessica Boulanger, a spokeswoman for the Business Roundtable, said in a statement it is engaged in “a significant, multifaceted campaign” to stop tax hikes and would “continue to ramp up our efforts in the coming weeks.”
Brian Newell, a spokesman for PhRMA, stressed that the group supports general pricing reforms — just not the ideas Democrats are pursuing. “The industry is willing to come to the table and do its fair share to help deliver real relief to patients at the pharmacy, not empty promises that will do more harm than good,” he said in a statement.
The raft of lobbying arrives as lawmakers begin to translate Biden’s broader economic vision into legislation. Democratic leaders have said their reconciliation measure can expand Medicare coverage, offer universal prekindergarten, provide new help to low-income families, and invest substantial sums toward fighting climate change.
Hoping to give Biden a win, Democrats have aimed to send the package to his desk as soon as September. Their race to enact legislation has set off a mad dash on Capitol Hill, a process that is sure to test the president’s political influence — and the durability of Democrats’ narrow, potent and fractious majorities in both chambers of Congress.
In a sign of the obstacles Democrats face, the Chamber of Commerce last week took a firm stand against the package, promising to do “everything we can” to prevent Congress from adopting it in full. The group’s president and chief executive, Suzanne Clark, issued the statement hours after the House adopted the $3.5 trillion budget that enabled Democrats to begin crafting tax and spending provisions — an approach, she said, that would “halt America’s fragile economic recovery.”
The Chamber’s opposition marked a major shift in tone from earlier this summer, when the business lobby locked arms with Democrats to help advance another centerpiece of Biden’s economic agenda. The group threw its full weight behind a bipartisan Senate package to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections, arguing that the roughly $1 trillion in fixes were long overdue.
Once the Senate adopted the package, however, the Chamber turned up the pressure on the House. Last week, for example, it unleashed widely viewed ads on Facebook praising the nine moderate Democrats who had threatened to block the party’s budget unless they could first secure a House vote on infrastructure spending. Democrats ultimately resolved their internal stalemate, paving the way for both packages to proceed this month, but not before the Chamber sought to highlight the party’s internal divisions in ads that together received millions of views.
The Chamber declined to comment about its plans, including the behind-the-scenes work to assemble a coalition. Neil Bradley, the group’s executive vice president, blasted Democrats for pursuing a bill “that proposes to fundamentally rewrite the rules of the road across virtually every major industrial sector.”